Hey, I'm Marcel

Hey everyone,

I’m Marcel, a 49 year old guy from the Netherlands, who decided last year that due to all Covid-19 drama and changing circumstances it was finally time for a long wanted change.

I was forced to close my 12 year old business, and decided I would start a new one with a focus on digital asset development. Last year April I started to teach myself Laravel, VueJS and Tailwind so I would eventually be able to create my own software as well. My goal is to have learned the necessary skills before I turn 50. So far I am doing fine with Tailwind and VueJs, but Laravel is a bit tougher to grasp.

In my previous business I have been hired as a business analyst, project manager, online marketer, ecommerce specialist and ‘online business problem solver’. So plenty of experience working online. The biggest frustrations? A clueless management (or partner) with a lack of vision, and scope creep, which made sure launches were always delayed, which caused for a lot of opportunities to be lost. So now I’ll be the management for a change and get things done quicker and more clear :slight_smile:

I saw the book from Dan and Jay and concluded that it fits my vision on rapid webdevelopment 2.0 (web + app MVP). I have to say I am pretry excited about it! My first big project is a member management portal for my wife’s self defense school, using what Dan and Jay teach in the book. Besides that I’m working with a partner on a project that his team hopes to finish in June this year, but that is more a strategic role.

Why this detailed story? Well, it may help other people who start from scratch to see it can be done, even if you are a bit ‘older’ already. And it also pushes me to keep moving forward, which is a nice plus.

Always open for a chat and I look forward to any suggestions that can help me become a better developer. #



@Marcel ,

Incredible story! I’m sure you will get the hang of Laravel and feel free to ask any questions: Laravel - Server Side Up Community. We can lend a hand! We’ve been working with Laravel for awhile and love it. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a beautiful framework, but there are definitely a few confusing gotchas getting started.

@jaydrogers and I agree completely on the frustrations you had at your current position. That’s why for the past 10 years we’ve ran our own company (https://521dimensions.com/). We primarily focus on large scale, multip-latform custom applications using VueJS, Laravel, & TailwindCSS. Scope creep, unreasonable deadlines, and vision were all the aspects we focus on when managing our projects. We’ve developed a few processes to help narrow down these issues and give the client a scope that let’s them know “what they are getting, when they are getting it and how much it’s going to cost”. It’d be great to hear your perspectives on these as well. Software can be a tricky business: https://xkcd.com/1425/

I’m so stoked to hear that you already have a project you are working on. I found that when learning these technologies, having something as a goal that you are passionate about working on is the best motivator. You are solving your own need which keeps the curiosity rolling.

I would love to hear how your new business develops and keep posting updates! It’s always great to learn from others who are doing similar ventures!


@danpastori Thanks for lending a hand, really appreciate it! I get the basic idea of how Laravel works, but actually writing code other than basic CRUD is still a challenge. I’ve mainly been focusing on the frontend as it seems I have more affinity in that direction, but I do want to learn both.

And yes, managing clients definitely requires SOP’s and managing expectations from the get-go. Especially here in Europe with all GDPR and other regulations to protect consumers more than ever you need to create a clear image of who is responsible for what, and be very clear on expectations. So starting with developing a software for my wife’s business wasn’t such a bad idea :slight_smile:

I’ll keep you posted on the progress and once I have some kind of working MVP I’ll post a link for those who want to have a look.


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What an awesome story @Marcel! I give you so much credit for taking ownership of your frustrations and doing it yourself.

Age is a belief. Great job on not being intimidated by that either!

What’s your biggest challenge with Laravel?

Hi @jaydrogers, thanks for the kind words! My biggest struggle is simple: lack of experience which leads to lots of trial and error - the way everyone started I guess… :slight_smile:

It takes a lot of time to get things working as expected. Lots of research and examples out on the internet, but with 80% of them focused on older Laravel versions it will only help me catch the concept in most cases. But every day is a new chance to get it right, and ‘done is better than perfect’ is the mantra I keep telling myself.

Now if I only could get more done faster… :wink:

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